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  • The Remains of the Day

    The Remains of the Day

    ★★★★★

    This movie never stops being awesome. It never stops being painfully English. It's a wonderful companion piece to something like Bridge on the River Kwai, if you want to get more out there it's got plenty of similarities thematically to Scorsese's recent Irishman. It does not revel in inaction, or celebrate the stiff upper lip.

    On previous viewings the heroic, all knowing American character embodied by the late, great Christopher Reeve sort of irritated me, but like with all great movies this one just grows and improves on rewatch. His moving into that house after all the mistakes that are made is a beautiful touch.

  • The Godfather

    The Godfather

    ★★★★★

    Michael Corleone, and Enzo the baker stand on the front steps of a hospital posing as a pair of hoods in an effort to keep away anyone coming to make an attempt on the life of the vulnerable Don inside. They do their best to look the part, and as a car comes to a halt outside the building, and the shadowy faces inside watch them, they obviously are convincing enough to cause the car to drive on by without…

  • All About Eve

    All About Eve

    ★★★½

    This is a film about actors with an incredible amount of wit about it, with plenty of self deprecation on display. Frankly, it seems far less clever to me than it seems to think it is. "It is not important that you hear what he says", no indeed, this film would rather explain everything to you in great detail, as if any of it really matters (George Sanders has a great voice that is the only thing that keeps you…

  • I Vitelloni

    I Vitelloni

    ★★★★

    In a similar vein to his later Nights of Cabiria, Fellini's I Vitelloni dabbles in Italy's neorealist cinematic stylings, the monotony of these characters lives, the mundanity of their quiet little town is all very much up there on the screen to see, but much like that later effort this one too, its directors third film, and breakout international hit, is shot through with something more... Call it cinematic, something that makes it feel very much of the movies.

    In…

  • Gone with the Wind

    Gone with the Wind

    ★★★★★

    Melanie Wilkes really is one of the dumbest, most simpering characters there is. Being nice is great, being an angel is commendable, but there is such a thing as too nice, and she well and truly sails over the line and way past the point of anything but cloying naivete.

    I say all this to emphasise just what a job faces the actress tasked with bringing her to life in this movie, and that Melanie comes off as well as…

  • Bad Day at Black Rock

    Bad Day at Black Rock

    ★★★★½

    On guilt and shame, personal, national, living with it, rising above it. All lensed with epic scope, soundtracked by Previn at his peak, and some of the slickest speaking you're ever likely to hear, delivered by a cast on top of their game.

    Bad Day at Black Rock is a seriously beautiful blending of higher brow thinking with broader thrills, testament to why Spencer Tracy was one of the absolute greatest of the golden age, and pretty magical in the…

  • Onward

    Onward

    ★★★★

    This movie has a similar sort of magic about it as Pixar's mighty Up. Without ripping your heart out quite as effectively as that film did from the off, it sets about telling a sort of gawdy looking ridiculous story that has this undercurrent of melancholy running through the whole thing (harder to ignore here than it was there, to be fair) and then (just as Up did) it pummels you with this revelation, this twist I suppose you could…

  • Rolling Thunder Revue: A Bob Dylan Story by Martin Scorsese

    Rolling Thunder Revue: A Bob Dylan Story by Martin Scorsese

    ★★★★★

    This might be the deepest, subtlest, most intricate and complex movie Scorsese has ever made. How the hell do you do that at his age? Makes all that rambling Tarantino does about how this is a young mans game look awful misguided.

    Rolling Thunder Revue is like Scorsese gone latter day Godard, but built around legendary rock n roll history so infinitely more palatable in that way. Released just half way through the year it was 2019's second great story…

  • The Nightingale

    The Nightingale

    ★★★½

    I have issues with this movie after a single viewing, but one thing it does undeniably incredibly is the longer it goes the more forebodingly it conjures up this feeling of unbearable claustrophobia for characters for whom. as someone once said, there is no more new frontier, nowhere left to run, not much of anything but hopelessness.

  • A Rainy Day in New York

    A Rainy Day in New York

    ★★★

    Not a very good movie as such, but it has a generally nice cast, from which Selena Gomez and Elle Fanning are particular standouts. The latter really has to work hard to keep her crazy character under control, and boy does she. As someone who had started to get seriously disillusioned with her in recent years, and thought she was just going to be another great child talent lost in adulthood, this gave me great hope she may in fact…

  • Chi-Raq

    Chi-Raq

    ★★★½

    A tremendously creative movie, a thoughtful movie, thankfully never pompously self serious, but refined and elegant of construction, blurring that elegance with the down to earth and ugly of the every day, and making that magical realism work in a way it is hard to do in cinema.

    Does it get narratively silly at times? Absolutely it does, but in spite of its idealistic outlook and kind of corny premise, I think Lee is filmmaker enough to sell the whole thing brilliantly, and ensure it maintains credibility. Above all else, the dialogue really sings, and on account of it this stands out.

  • Marguerite

    Marguerite

    ★★½

    Just as with the similarly themed Florence Foster Jenkins this movie fails to get the most out of the material with which it plays, but it's perfectly entertaining regardless.